Tuesday 26 June 2007

Adyah Camp 2nd meeting

June 25, 2007 Adyah Second Meeting and sharing photographs

It is so hot in Jerusalem that I moved “downstairs” into the cool and rustic library to work. Earlier today I was about lethargic from the heat. It was 39 C. yesterday and the news said that it would be hotter today.

Yesterday was my first feedback (2nd meeting) with the women at Adyah Camp. It was so wonderful to bring “bags full of goodies” for them! I had purchased some brightly colored nylon plastic bags with 60’s style flowers decorations. They came in bright green, orange, blue and pink! Inside of the bags I placed their prints of the photographs, a small photo album, a small notebook, a pen and another camera.

I ad-libed and recorded the meeting to remain flexible and not to present myself as “a leader” but to try to incorporate the feeling of participation and equality. , which we all are equal anyways.

I found it interesting that for the first two meetings, Ghada was interpreting my English into Arabic, but this time, she hardly did a thing. She told me that they all know English! I suppose that this occurred due to a protection mode for the women, as well as needing to acquire a since of trust with the project and me.

I did not know whose photographs were whose, and I labeled my CD with numbers 1-5. When I shared the photographs to find out whose was whose, I gave them the bag and wrote their name on the CD. The system worked well!

Once the women received their bags, they started asking questions and all were excited to view the photographs and immediately shared them with each other. Three of the five participants were there and we were missing two. I have given Ghada a camera in the event that she may want to join in. It may have something to do with the leadership position, but I am not sure. She did not take a photograph all week long. I did not force her and said that at least she should open the box! She just laughed.

Not only were the three participants sitting in chairs, with myself on the floor, writing this and that and turning on the recorder, but many of the women that were in the exercise class remained and even more “dropped by”. The word has gotten around.

In total, there was about 15 women in the room, listening, talking and sharing.

I then asked them to please go through the photographs and pick their favorite one. Once they did that, I asked each participant, to explain to us why and what is the story behind the photograph. Of course I could not write the answers down, and I am glad that I remembered to bring my recorder to transcribe the meeting later!

I will post their favorite photographs on the blog, with a small story behind them.

The next step was to ask them to re-review the photographs and write down the numbers on the back and list what the photos are. In addition, I asked them to take the notebook around with them, and while they are taking photographs, to write down how they felt inside about why they choose to take that photograph, and to look at the feelings that are generated with the subject.

Now my problem, will be how to get someone to translate all of this for me…. ummm.

I will find someone!

The meeting went very well, and I think that we all could feel excitement in the air.

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